red panda lying on brown tree branch in San Diego Zoo
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7 Hotels Near San Diego Zoo With Free Breakfast


You’ve come to the right place! I’ll be traveling to San Diego with my family and I’ve researched the best hotels near the Zoo.

They are highly rated by previous guests and are all within walking distance from the San Diego Zoo. You can see my results and save time by using my list!

Photo: Expedia

Don’t have time to go through the whole list? I recommend TownePlace Suites by Marriott — this hotel is conveniently located just 1.8 miles from the San Diego Zoo, and you get a complimentary American breakfast!

Ready to discover the 7 best hotels near the San Diego Zoo? Let’s get to it! 

After finding your perfect place to stay, check out the best beaches near San Diego. You should definitely put a beach day on your San Diego itinerary! With over 70 miles of beaches, you’ll be sure to find the perfect spot for a nice swimming or surfing experience.

Top 3 Picks: Hotels Near San Diego Zoo With Free Breakfast

Photo: Expedia

TownePlace Suites by Marriott

✔️ 1.8 miles from the San Diego Zoo
✔️ Complimentary American breakfast
✔️ Courtyard area with the fire pit

Photo: Expedia

Best Western Cabrillo Garden Inn

✔️ Zoo easily accessible by car
✔️ Complimentary continental breakfast
✔️ Comfy seating on the roof terrace

Photos: Expedia

Homewood Suites by Hilton

✔️ Central location in downtown
✔️ Complimentary continental breakfast
✔️ Spacious rooms

7 Hotels Near San Diego Zoo With Free Breakfast

1. TownePlace Suites by Marriott

⭐️ Rating: 8.2 out of 10 stars | Location: 1445 Sixth Avenue, Downtown San Diego | Check Rates and Availability

TownePlace Suites by Marriott San Diego Downtown is a fantastic choice for anyone looking to stay near the San Diego Zoo. This hotel, nestled in the heart of San Diego, is just 1.8 miles from the San Diego Zoo, making it a prime location for those who want to reach Balboa Park on foot.

One of the standout features of TownePlace Suites is the complimentary American breakfast served each morning. This is a great perk for those who want to start their day with a delicious and convenient meal before exploring the city or heading to the zoo.

The courtyard area with the fire pit was a nice touch, even if it was too warm to use it while we were there. Breakfast looked good with a nice selection of hot and cold items, although we didn’t have time to sit down and eat.

Lynda (see more reviews)

Guests have praised the hotel for its central location, which is within walking distance of the Gaslamp District and the USS Midway. This makes it an excellent base for exploring San Diego’s top attractions. Additionally, the hotel’s staff has been noted for their friendliness and helpfulness, adding to the overall positive experience.

For those who like to stay active, there’s a state-of-the-art fitness center. And if you’re traveling with a pet, you’ll be happy to know that pets are allowed, although charges may apply.

2. Best Western Cabrillo Garden Inn

⭐️ Rating: 7.6 out of 10 stars | Location: 840 A Street, Downtown San Diego | Check Rates and Availability

Best Western Cabrillo Garden Inn is a charming and convenient option for those visiting San Diego, especially if you’re planning a trip to the San Diego Zoo.

Located in the heart of the city, this hotel offers a comfortable and quaint stay with the added bonus of a complimentary continental breakfast. This feature is perfect for getting a quick and tasty start to your day before heading out to explore.

Pretty exterior with nice added touches such as comfy seating on roof terrace. Clean, comfortable rooms. Balboa Park and zoo easily accessible by car.

Kira (See more reviews)

Guests have highlighted the excellent location of the Best Western Cabrillo Garden Inn, particularly its proximity to the Gaslamp District and Petco Park. This makes it an ideal base for exploring the city’s attractions, dining, and entertainment options.

The hotel’s staff is known for their kindness and helpfulness, adding a personal touch to your stay. Additionally, the property is noted for its beautiful plants and garden-like ambiance, offering a unique and refreshing experience in the middle of the city.

3. Homewood Suites by Hilton

⭐️ Rating: 8.3 out of 10 stars | Location: 2137 Pacific Highway, Downtown San Diego | Check Rates and Availability

Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Downtown/Bayside is a top choice for anyone visiting San Diego. It’s located in a prime spot with easy access to the harbor and the vibrant Little Italy​​​​.

My family and I really enjoyed our stay at the hotel. Breakfast was free and very decent.

Vilaloy (see more reviews)

Its central location in downtown San Diego means you’re close to everything, including the airport, which is less than a mile away. Balboa Park with San Diego Zoo is 1,5 located miles from the hotel.

The hotel is known for its cleanliness, spacious rooms, and quality breakfast.

4. Hillcrest House Bed & Breakfast

Hillcrest signage under blue cloudy sky
Hillcrest, San Diego

⭐️ Rating: 8.8 out of 10 stars | Location: 3845 Front Street, Hillcrest, San Diego | Check Rates and Availability

If you’re looking for a cozy and convenient place near San Diego Zoo, Hillcrest House Bed & Breakfast is a great choice.

The host, Ann, is known for her warmth and attentiveness, ensuring guests feel welcome and informed about the San Diego area. The breakfasts here are fresh and simple, offering a variety of seating areas for both private and social dining experiences.

Tastefully furnished and very well equipped house and room, very friendly and helpful host, good location to explore Hillcrest, great breakfast; thanks a lot!

Michael (see more reviews)

Guests commend the property for its cleanliness and tranquility. The LaJolla Suite, for example, comes equipped with modern amenities like a fridge, microwave, and even a spa tub, ensuring a comfortable stay.

An added perk is its proximity to essential spots, including the airport​​.

In short, Hillcrest House Bed & Breakfast is a delightful blend of suburban luxury and city convenience, perfect for your San Diego visit!

5. Hotel Republic San Diego, Autograph Collection


⭐️ Rating: 8.3 out of 10 stars | Location: 421 West B Street, Downtown San Diego | Check Rates and Availability

Hotel Republic San Diego, Autograph Collection is a stylish and modern choice for those looking to explore San Diego, especially if you’re planning a visit to the San Diego Zoo.

The hotel’s location is a big plus, being close to the lively Gaslamp Quarter and the San Diego Convention Center, just a short walk from Little Italy, and just 1.5 miles from the San Diego Zoo.

The rooms at Hotel Republic are designed with a contemporary flair, featuring flat-screen HDTVs, oversized desks, and the option for gourmet in-room dining. The eco-friendly rooms are also pet-friendly, making it a great option for those traveling with furry friends.

The location was great and the view from the restaurant upstairs was wonderful. Loved the window bench in the rooms. The staff was nice and friendly.

Christian (See more reviews)

One of the highlights of this hotel is its dining options. Guests can enjoy Californian fare at one of the hotel’s three on-site restaurants. The Topside Terrace Kitchen & Bar is particularly notable for its city views and is a great spot for a late-night drink or brunch.

The hotel’s breakfast has been praised by guests, offering a variety of choices including Continental and American options.

6. InterContinental San Diego

⭐️ Rating: 8.3 out of 10 stars | Location: 901 Bayfront Court, Downtown San Diego | Check Rates and Availability

InterContinental San Diego, an IHG Hotel, is a stylish choice for those planning a visit to the San Diego Zoo. This urban boutique hotel, located on the San Diego waterfront, offers guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows that provide striking views of the San Diego Bay.

The hotel’s excellent location is also a major draw, being just a short drive from the International Cruise Ship Terminals and 10 minutes from PETCO Park.

The hotel’s rooms are air-conditioned and come equipped with modern amenities like a 49-inch TV, a custom coffee machine, and a minibar. For added comfort, guest bathrobes and slippers are also provided.

The location is awesome, just across the street from the Midway museum. The view is also impressive.

Yongjing (See more reviews)

The hotel boasts three dining venues and a 4th-floor rooftop bar. The signature restaurant, Vistal, offers an eclectic blend of cuisine influenced by various cultures, with a menu featuring locally sourced ingredients.

Guests can enjoy the expansive health and wellness center, which includes San Diego Bay views, a personalized video wall, and an outdoor yoga terrace.

7. DoubleTree by Hilton

⭐️ Rating: 7.4 out of 10 stars | Location: 1646 Front Street, Downtown San Diego | Check Rates and Availability

DoubleTree by Hilton San Diego Downtown is conveniently located within walking distance of the Little Italy district, known for its charming markets, restaurants, and boutiques. The San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, and the San Diego Convention Center are also nearby.

The hotel offers comfortable guestrooms with modern conveniences. Each room is equipped with a mini refrigerator, which is a handy feature for storing snacks and drinks. The rooms also provide a cozy environment for a restful night’s sleep, thanks to the hotel’s signature Sweet Dreams beds.

Good American breakfast (menu also available) and friendly staff. Comfortable, clean room.

David (See more reviews)

The hotel has an on-site restaurant where guests can enjoy a delicious meal. The restaurant serves a variety of options, including American and seafood cuisine, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and cocktail hour.

Guests can also relax in the heated outdoor pool or work out in the state-of-the-art fitness center.

Hotels Near San Diego Zoo With Free Breakfast: FAQs

flock of flamingos on water
In September, you can observe the animals in the San Diego Zoo with fewer crowds than in the peak season.

How many hours do you need at the San Diego Zoo?

The time needed to fully experience the San Diego Zoo can vary depending on several factors, including your level of interest in zoos and animals, whether you’re visiting with children, and how much of the zoo you want to see.

Generally, visitors should plan to spend at least 4 to 6 hours at the zoo.

Is the San Diego Zoo worth the money?

The San Diego Zoo is often considered worth the money for several reasons, especially for those who appreciate wildlife and conservation efforts.

The San Diego Zoo is one of the most famous zoos in the world, known for its size, variety of animals, and commitment to conservation. It houses over 3,500 animals across 650 species and subspecies.

The zoo is involved in significant conservation and research efforts. Your admission fees contribute to these efforts, helping to protect endangered species and their habitats.

What day is best for the San Diego Zoo?

Choosing the best day to visit the San Diego Zoo can enhance your experience, helping you avoid large crowds and long wait times.

Typically, weekdays (Monday through Friday) are less crowded than weekends. Schools and work schedules mean fewer local visitors, so you’re more likely to enjoy a quieter experience.

What’s better SeaWorld or San Diego Zoo?

If you’re more interested in a wide variety of land animals and a traditional zoo experience, the San Diego Zoo is a better choice.

If you’re fascinated by marine life, enjoy aquatic shows, and are looking for an experience that combines amusement park thrills with animal exhibits, SeaWorld would be more suitable.

palm trees near white concrete building under blue sky during daytime
In January, you can enjoy the various activities at Balboa Park without the crowds.

Final Thoughts: Hotels Near San Diego Zoo With Free Breakfast

Looking at the map, there aren’t that many hotels in San Diego that are within walking distance from the San Diego Zoo and offer free breakfast. In this list, you saw several hotels close to San Diego Zoo and some a bit further away.

My personal recommendation is to book the hotel that you like, maybe consider booking a beachfront hotel instead.

The thing is, you probably won’t be walking on foot to the San Diego Zoo. And if you are renting a car in San Diego, you might as well choose a hotel that is 5 minutes further away but is a really nice one.

No matter which hotel you choose, your trip to San Diego will be amazing! It’s a city with uncountable adventures to explore – so book an accommodation and start planning your trip!

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